Payag owner files lawsuit vs founder of RDR Cargo for fraud, ‘threat to kill’ (Part 1)

Rena Avendula of Payag Restaurant; Rommel del Rosario of RDR Cargo: First friends, then partners, now foes

Rena Avendula of Payag Restaurant; Rommel del Rosario of RDR Cargo: First friends, then partners, now foes

By Cristina DC Pastor

They are two of the most visible business entrepreneurs in the Filipino American community until their friendship soured and they found themselves before a Queens court on charges of fraud, harassment and ‘threat to kill.’

On April 6, Rena Avendula, who is the owner of Payag Restaurant, filed a complaint of breach of contract and fraud against Rommel del Rosario, who owns and operates the cargo forwarding company RDR Services Corporation. Both businesses, located in Queens, are popular and enjoy the support and patronage of the FilAm community.

Avendula’s complaint states that around January or February of 2015, Del Rosario invited her to invest in his RDR shipment company. She said Del Rosario was looking “to take on equity partners,” according to papers filed before the Supreme Court of the State of New York County of Queens.

“Del Rosario represented to Plaintiffs that RDR was a successful cargo and shipping business, with strong historical sales, returning customers and that it consistently turned a profit. In addition, Del Rosario assured Plaintiffs that with the right partners, the business could grow and expand to offer its customers additional shipping services,” according to the complaint obtained by The FilAm.

In March of the same year, the partnership was finalized. It states that Del Rosario would retain 50 percent stake in RDR, Avendula would acquire 40 percent, and another Plaintiff, Linda Braga, would keep a 10 percent share. At the signing of the agreement, Avendula issued a $30,000 check as her initial investment.

The contract was amended in September, raising Avendula’s stake in the company from 40 percent to 51 percent, effectively giving her “full authority to operate and manage RDR.” However, when Avendula took over, she discovered that RDR was in “financial distress.”

“Plaintiffs discovered that RDR owed money to several vendors and was unable to pay its bills,” says the court papers. “RDR owed money to multiple people including a box company and a logistics forwarding company…that RDR owed approximately $173,000 in shipping and storage fees to logistic and container companies…that 10 of RDR’s shipping containers were being held by a distributor in the Philippines and are not being released because RDR owed money to the distributor. As a result…Plaintiffs received numerous complaints from customers because their packages were never delivered.”

The partners reached an agreement that Avendula and Braga would offer Del Rosario a loan of $160,000 as a form of “Capital Contribution” to be used to service RDR’s obligations. Plaintiffs continued to lend money until it totaled $200,000 over eight months.

“Avendula and Braga have not been reimbursed for any of their Capital Contributions to RDR,” says the complaint.

However, Plaintiffs said they discovered Del Rosario was making “sneaky” business deals. According to the complaint, he would “provide (customers) with an old RDR invoice and have the customers pay him in cash. Del Rosario would personally pick up these customers’ boxes so he would not be discovered by Avendula and Braga.” The customers began calling to check on their packages, and that’s how Plaintiffs found out about Del Rosario’s operation.

In short, “Del Rosario used these old contracts to run his own side business which circumvented RDR.” He “repeatedly stole money” from RDR, Avendula and Braga alleged in their complaint.

Del Rosario denied he was keeping the money.

“In March through October 2015 Plaintiffs discovered that Del Rosario was using RDR’s funds for his personal use, including but not limited to, using RDR’s funds to pay his parking tickets, his car lease payments, and the rent for his personal apartment.”

In October 2015, Del Rosario informed the Plaintiffs he was terminating the agreement. Avendula and Braga said they do not oppose the termination and dissolution of
the partnership, “so long as they are reimbursed and paid what they are owed.”

Avendula alleged in her complaint that “Del Rosario has sent text messages to Avendula’s friends threatening to kill Avendula. These statements and messages have made Avendula fear for her safety.” She has reported the “harassing and threatening messages” to the police but no arrest has been made.

Plaintiffs filed the following charges against Del Rosario:
• Breach of contract
• Fraud
• Breach of Fiduciary Duty
• Conversion and Misappropriation (of funds)
• Misrepresentation
• Unjust Enrichment
• Tortious Interference with Business Relations
• Slander

Avendula said Del Rosario made statements to certain people (such as Olivia Valderrama, Joy Escallona, Dhelma Lopez, etc.) that she stole money from him and RDR and used it for her Payag restaurant, a charge she vehemently denies. Avendula is represented by Elizabeth E. Schlissel, Esq.

NEXT: Del Rosario hits back, files countersuit

The RDR Cargo office in Queens

The RDR Cargo office in Queens

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2 Comments

  1. Rommel wrote:

    All allegations are not true. The reason why rdr cargo is delayed is partly due to funds were mismanage and she took off with the funds. I am left and was left with 12 problematic containers that had no funds. She destroyed the company reputation.. we partnered on March 2015 and she left oct. 2015 and left the company in shables, she tried to kick me out of my company using our partnership agreement but the agreement which she herself made was dissolved by my lawyer due to technicalities .. now she wants attention and publicly spread wrong info because the company is still surviving despite all her actions to make me look bad. Her allegations are not true. She took the funds of the company… and spread the opposite which is she lost money with the company. To tell you something easier to understand, my business, ask any balikbayan box owner, the clients are the one giving us capital to ship the boxes, we get first the payment before we spend on shipping, it’s that simple.. she took/collected the money of the containers and left the company and the name on the line and took my database and opened her own company called ABTIQ, how could you believe someone claiming she lost money on a business and found out later she opened the same nature of business, that’s a contradicting move. If you claim you lose money on such business the most common sense to do is don’t open the same nature of business. A lot of boxes are on the line and depending on me for its delivery and the only way that will happen is for rdr to recover. Clearly her intentions is to make sure I don’t recover and to be honest, if your really are a responsible journalist you would not publish such wrong info, let the court decide because I have countersued her but clearly her making everything public is to add negativity to rdrs name and worsen the recovery, if that happens, boxes will be affected and innocent rdr clients will be affected. Such a selfish move for her and I believe that’s her only motive. Those are allegations but clearly she wants to create negative for rdr to lose clients and slow down which it has already did, I tried to be quiet because right now my only goal is for my clients to receive their boxes and recover rdr. I’m disposing my properties to recover and release containers that she left with no funds for customs release and delivery. If you really want to publish it then publish the truth and let her be known… our clients believes rdr because they know we could have easily abandoned our post but we didn’t because we are standing and fighting for the good fight and that’s to protect and deliver our clients boxes. A lot of my clients also receive phone calls from abtiq, they’ve been calling my clients and offering their new company as an alternative. Now you will see what’s her real motive. I have agents who will testify to her actions who lost clients because of her. One of my clients informed me again of her actions to try to get my clients into shipping with their company abtiq. Medyo nsa edge ang rdr pero I choose to stand and struggle to fix and recover. 12 containers was a lot.. 420 boxes per container.. that’s how bad she did.. why would I destroy a company I built with my blood, sweat, tears and my name… it was easier for her because she was not on the line and could easily exit… which she did. GOD WILL GIVE ME JUSTICE AND VENGEANCE IS NOT MINE, BUT THE LORDS.

    TRY TO DO MORE RESEARCH ABOUT” RENA AVENDULA” and Google her name. You can see a lot of lawsuits against her.

  2. […] Payag owner files lawsuit vs founder of RDR Cargo for fraud, ‘threat to kill’ (Part 1) […]

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